Report: Rangers out on Yu Darvish

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When this free agent stalemate ends, don’t expect the Rangers to be one of the teams pushing to sign Yu Darvish. Club GM Jon Daniels said Friday that although they continue to maintain contact with the ace right-hander, “it’s very unlikely that we’re ultimately going to bring in one of the upper-end pitchers at this point.”

That seems to suggest that the likes of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn are off the table, though the Rangers could still try to add a few inexpensive depth pieces to their pitching staff before Opening Day. They’re projected to start the year with a rotation of Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Matt Moore and Mike Minor, and have a plethora of minor league pitchers who could conceivably step into a starting role if need be.

While Darvish has enjoyed a long relationship with the team, he isn’t exactly positioning himself to hand out any hometown discounts this offseason. The 31-year-old righty is reportedly seeking something close to $175 million in a multiyear deal, and another report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicates that Darvish is simply biding his time until either the Yankees or Dodgers clear space on their payroll for such an offer.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.